Pilot story

and photos by

Bill Schlichting

ntiful inside the Redwood Theater Wednesday night when eight high school boys competed for the title of Mr. BHHS.

The pageant spoof, themed Disney, was more than an event to provide comedic relief, though. The event was to raise money for Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland.

A total of $1,428.12 was raised during the event, including $525 collected during a Dash for Cash, where contestants dashed through the nearly full-house with buckets collecting whatever money they could from the audience. Net proceeds were increased thanks to the Patterson family donating the use of the theater.

Participating in the pageant were Tony Cross, Justin Allen, Nick Troendle, Ron Oliver, Daniel Rufener, Blake Peters, Mitch Bonde and Morgan Kocher.

Winning the title was Allen, who was crowned by Ryan Fielder, who was hospitalized at Doernbecher for a brain tumor. Fielder received much community support while he was undergoing therapy. He has been declared free of tumor.

First runner up was Rufener, who also won the talent competition and collected the most money, $139, in the Dash for Cash. Second runner up was Kocher. Mr. Congeniality was Mitch Bonde. Their prizes were presented by Azalea Festival Queen Tarah Dougherty, who served as mistress of ceremonies with Nicole Nowlin.

Winners were selected by a panel of judges, none from out of town, which included Fielder, Cindy Beaman, Katie Miller, Ken Caylor and Judy May Lopez.

Judges had to award points for modeling day wear and evening wear, portrayal of a favorite Disney character, presentation of talent, and response to a question.

The evening began with an opening dance number choreographed by Nowlin, Danielle Short and Jessica Wood. Each boy presented day wear, which ranged from a wet suit accessorized with a surfboard to shorts and a bikini top. This event was followed by each contestant portraying his favorite Disney character.

On a more serious side, a video produced by Doernbecher providing details of the facility and how schools have raised funds for the hospital was shown.

The laughs returned with the contestants showing their talent, or lack thereof. Presentations included lounging, blowing a bubble, bending metal rods, singing and performing an interpretive dance. The dance, performed by Rufener, drew a standing ovation.

The Dash for Cash was followed by raffle drawings for prizes donated by local businesses.

Evening wear was presented, ranging from the comfortable robe worn by Allen to a black spy outfit worn by Oliver. During the event, a question was drawn from a hat. Many of the questions were taken from previous Azalea Pageants.

While the judges tabulated the results, Alex Riddle sang while the boys performed a dance that included a game of leapfrog.